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Experts: After Tsai's US transit, China needs to be vigilant

By Zhao Wei | | Updated: 2023-04-04 19:06
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The US strategy of globalizing the Taiwan question means that China needs to be vigilant, experts warned when commenting on Taiwan leader Tsai Ing-wen's stopover in the US, at a symposium in Beijing on Sunday.

During a "transit" stay in the US on March 29, Tsai engaged in political maneuvering with American politicians, adding more pressure to China-US relations.

"If the US truly expects a peaceful Taiwan Straits, it should stop containing China by exploiting the Taiwan question and propagating 'Taiwan independence'," State Councilor and Foreign Minister Qin Gang urged US at this year's two sessions - China's annual top legislative and political advisory meetings- closed on March 13.

However, the fact that the US agreed to Tsai's "transit" indicates that it is still pursuing a divisive Taiwan agenda, one that seeks to politicize, ideologize, and internationalize the Taiwan question.

The US is trying to globalize the Taiwan question, and use it to mobilize and reshape its allies and partnerships in the Asia-Pacific region, and build a US-led alliance to control economics, technology and other industries, said Zhao Minghao, professor at the Institute of International Studies at Fudan University at a symposium held by College of International Relations of Huaqiao University and Tsinghua Center for US-China Relations, which mainly focused on the Taiwan question with regards to the China-US relationship.

Zhong Houtao, associate professor from the University of International Relations, also pointed out that the US is establishing a "democratic technology alliance" by linking ideology and industry, which aims to win over allies to contain China.

Effective communication and exchanges between the two sides of the Taiwan Straits in high-tech fields should be promoted to curb the US' attempts to lure or coerce Taiwan-based enterprises to participate in a "tech cold war" against China, suggested Diao Daming, deputy director of the American Research Center at Renmin University of China.

Since Tsai took office in 2016, nine countries have severed "diplomatic relations" with Taiwan authorities and established or restored diplomatic relations with the Chinese mainland. Currently, Taiwan still has ties with 13 countries. We must be vigilant against the behavior of raising Taiwan's so-called "international visibility" and "nip it in the bud", Diao said.

At the same time, it is also essential to enhance the international reputation of the mainland, suggested Zhong Houtao at the symposium. Considering China's role in prompting Saudi Arabia and Iran to restore diplomatic ties in Beijing, Zhong stressed that China's image as an international mediator is being strengthened with action. "As the US is shaping the narrative of democracy over authoritarianism, we are promoting peace over war. Therefore, our narrative must occupy a new moral high ground and lead the conversation in the future," said Zhong.

Recently, Song Tao, head of the Taiwan Work Office of the Communist Party of China Central Committee and the Taiwan Affairs Office of the State Council had a discussion with businessmen and young people from Taiwan. When responding to the benefits of reunification, he said that as long as the one-China principle is followed, Taiwan compatriots can negotiate a whole range of issues. This sentiment has received widespread attention from home and abroad, showing a new and constructive narrative towards Taiwan.

On the Taiwan question, it is indeed necessary to have open lines of dialogue, and build a cross-Straits economic and cultural community to increase consensus and accumulate goodwill, according to Chen Zhirui, professor from China Foreign Affairs University.

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